I went to a fantastic high school in Pennsylvania that, even to this day, has state of the art facilities and wonderful teachers. I learned so much and am very glad for my days there. With all of the great facilities and teachers, however, I still found when I got to college there was a gap in my education. It may have been me totally. I'm sure that somewhere down the line I was taught these things and completely forgot them or just didn't get it. One of the things that I had to learn or relearn when I got to college was proper note taking and how to write a research paper.
When I found out we would be reviewing the MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar I had no idea that it would be teaching my boys good note taking skills - the exact thing that I don't remember learning in school. MaxScholar is really two major programs and a bunch of minor programs that are kind of like the major programs. I'll explain what I mean in a minute, but first let's major on the majors.
MaxScholar is an online program where each child is given a login name and password. The two major programs are MaxPhonics and MaxReading. I was excited about MaxPhonics for Jacob who has a difficult time reading. MaxPhonics has four levels - Pre K, Teen, Blends and Digraphs. Each level takes a vowel, blend or digraph and teaches it in three different ways - Visual, Tactile and Auditory. In the Visual section, they show the letter(s), name the letter, say what sound it makes, show a picture of something that begins with those letters and then an actual person is shown saying the sound again so that the child can actually see how to form that sound with his lips. During the Tactile stage, the child learns how to write the letter - first in "sand" and then on paper. Finally, in the auditory section the child must pick out words that begin with the sound being learned. I really like how this is all done. It is very complete and well done.
MaxReading is where a child learns how to take notes by spotting main ideas and outlining. First the child chooses a level. This can either be done on his own or through a pretest to determine his level. Once the level is chosen he can choose a topic. In the level Joshua was on the selections were Cool Places, Technology, or Media. Once a topic is chosen the student can select an actual reading passage. For the Cool Places topic, Joshua could choose between several cities around the world. After an actual passage is chosen the student is introduced to some of the more difficult vocabulary words from the passage. The vocabulary word is highlighted and the child can click on the word to find the definition, how it is used in a sentence and synonyms. After the child makes sure he knows all of the vocabulary words, he then reads the passage carefully. After that is where the fun begins! The student then is asked to highlight the Topic, Main Ideas and Important Details of the passage in different colors. After they have done so they check their highlighting with what the program says should be highlighted. Then, using their highlighting, they make an outline of the passage, check the outline, then rewrite the story in their own words using the outline. Again, this is very complete and well done. It took a while for Joshua to get used to, and it was a bit tedious for him at times, but he is getting the hang of it. He especially likes learning about the different cities since he loves Geography. I like the way the program gives the student a choice as to what type of passage he wants to read.
In the "minor" areas a student can learn prefixes, suffixes, roots and more with MaxWords; read lyrics from their favorite artists and take challenges after reading them; expand their vocabulary with MaxVocab; learn about different places around the world with MaxPlaces; and learn about famous and important people with MaxBios.
We have had a lot of fun working with the MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar. It is a very unique and different way to improve your reading and I think it is very effective. To find out more about these programs just click on any one of the highlighted links above. To find what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of this program click on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!